Prof. Hugh Bruck, Director of Graduate Studies of the University of Maryland?s Department of Mechanical Engineering, has recently been appointed as the Department?s Associate Chair for Academic Affairs. As Associate Chair, he will be responsible for overseeing both the Graduate and Undergraduate Offices of the Department. When asked about his new responsibilities in this role, Prof. Bruck said that he looks forward to providing a link between these two offices: ?Many of our academic activities are designed to serve both student populations, and it is important to maximize our use of Departmental resources to provide the best possible learning experience for all of our students.? In particular, he hopes to reinforce connections between graduate TAs and the undergraduate students they educate. ?We need to find ways to better prepare our TAs to support new instructional methods we are developing for our undergraduate courses,? he explained, noting that doing so would better prepare graduate students to achieve success in academia. Links between these two areas, he stated, would also allow the Department to combine student opportunities with boosting its own reputation by ?promoting more of our students for honors and awards, as well as for prestigious internships at many of the government laboratories in the area.?

The Department?s interest in its students? future success is not limited to awards and internships, however. Just as Prof. Bruck values connections between Maryland?s undergraduate and graduate programs, he views preparation for graduate study as an important element of the Department?s undergraduate curriculum. ?We see a graduate education as an integral component to both their and our Department?s long term success.? In order to optimize this pursuit, he hopes that the Department will be able to introduce the prospect of graduate study to undergraduates early on by ?constructing new programs that provide more of our undergraduates exposure to graduate-level research and education, as well as giving our graduate students a chance to hone their leadership skills by serving as mentors to these undergraduate students.?

For more information on Prof. Bruck, visit his faculty page

February 9, 2012

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